“All Who Mourn for Jerusalem” — Tisha B’Av with Rav Berland Shlit”a

With Hashem’s help, we merited to be with our Rebbe Rav Berland shlit”a during the fast of Tisha B’Av also this year.  Below is a review of the day, as it happened with the Rav shlit”a.

On the night of Tisha B’Av, the Rav shlit”a entered for Maariv wearing a hat and without a tallit.  Immediately he began “Barchu” and the Maariv prayer.  After the Amidah, the Rav gave over a shiur of about five minutes about the level of the day of Tisha B’Av, bringing the Midrash that the same moment that the Temple was destroyed, Mashiach was born.  After the shiur, he sat for the reading of Megilat Eicha with great arousal, in which it was impossible not to feel the great pain of the destruction in his pure voice.

After the Megilah, the Rav shlit”a began with the saying of the five Kinot which are customarily read on Tisha B’Av night.  Afterwards, the Rav said Kadish, “Uva L’Tzion,” and “Aleinu L’Shebeach,” and entered his home, announcing that Shacharit would be at 5 in the morning.

On this day in which the enemy entered the inner sanctum of the Temple, the Rav shlit”a came to Shacharit without Tallit and Tefilin at 5:35 am, and immediately began to say the verses of Tikkun Chatzot which are customarily said on days in which Tachanun isn’t said.  After Tikkun Chatzot, the Rav began Shacharit with the regular liturgy of Morning Zemirot, Korbanot, Pesukei D’Zimra, Shema and its blessings, and the Amidah.  After the Amidah, the Rav read in the Torah “Ki Tolid Banim” and the Haftarah of “Asof Asifam.”  Immediately after the Haftarah, the Rav said that he is coming down to the Prayer Hall for the saying of Kinot.

And so within a few minutes, the Rav came down to the Prayer Hall and began saying Kinot together with the almost 1,000 people who sat crowded together in the Prayer Hall, and which also overflowed into the courtyard.  Because of the heat wave, the Gabbai’im of the Beit Midrash opened up special shelters for the large public who came to mourn for Jerusalem together with the Rav shlit”a, who couldn’t enter the Prayer Hall for lack of space.

Before the Kinah “Arzei Levanon [said over the Ten Martyrs],” the Rav shlit’a stood up and remained standing for an hour and a half throughout the recital of all the Kinot.  During the Kinot, the Rav shlit”a gave over a number of shiurim, among them: Before the Kinah “Arzei Levanan” which mentions the martyrdom of Rabbi Akiva, before the three Kinot which speak about the Decrees of 4856 (known as the “German Crusade”) — especially before the Kinah “Shaali Serufah B’Esh” which was composed by Rabbi Meir of Rotenberg, he spoke at length about how much was lost from those thousands of commentaries whose letters went up in flames to never return; and so too, before the Kinah of Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi “Tzion HaLo Tishali.”  The Kinot were said with great arousal, especially the last Kinah “Keli Tzion v’Arehah,” which the Rav reads every year with a special cantillation, choking with tears.

After the conclusion of Kinot, the Rav shlit”a sat for the reading of Megilat Eicha, and in the middle of the reading, the Rav changed from the regular melody and said it with the melody of Kinot.  At the end of Eicha, the Rav finished the prayer, saying that everyone should go to the Kotel until Chatzot.

Towards sundown, at 7:15 pm, the Rav shlit”a came out for the Minchah prayer crowned with Tallit and Tefillin, beginning the song “Yehei Rava Kadamach” in opening the Ark.  Afterwards he read “Veyachel Moshe,” said the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, and read the Haftarah “Dirshu Hashem BeHimatzo.”  After Minchah, the Rav immediately began Maariv, followed by a shiur and the songs of Rebbe of Nachman of Breslov for a few minutes, entering his home at the conclusion.

May it be His will that just as we merited to mourn for the Temple together with the Rav shlit”a, that we should merit to see the Temple’s rebuilding speedily in our days, Amen!

Below is a photo gallery of the fast of Tisha B’Av with the Rav shlit”a (Photos courtesy of the Shuva Banim site, Breslov Netzach Netzachim):

Giving over shiur before Eicha
Reading Megilat Eicha
Reading Megilat Eicha
Reading the Haftarah of Shacharit
Reading Torah during Shacharit
Saying Kinot in the Prayer Hall
Reading Torah in Minchah, crowned with Tallit and Tefilin

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